Design with Free Software- Part One

Learn a fun, hands-on approach to innovative creature design, using freely-available, open-source software.
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16 students enrolled
Instructed by Justin Operable Design / Game Design
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  • Lectures 11
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

This course is about creatures.

Specifically, this course is an accessible demonstration of a design process that is useful right from the start. It uses only one piece of free and open source software so anyone with a graphics tablet, a touch screen or a steady hand and a mouse can begin to design creatures and characters. It is a process which is tried and true and will allow you to hit the ground running, designing creatures and making the most of your practice time, all while being fun. These are techniques that professionals use and they are specific and effective.

Too often, art instruction amounts to not much more than watching someone draw with very little insight into how to do it yourself. Have you picked up a book about drawing, painting or design and seen demonstrations that went something like this: "First draw a drawing, then paint the drawing", with no significant process or insight into how to do it yourself?

That is not what this course is, it is a step-by-step process for designing a fantasy creature (in this case, an Orc), that saves your time and allows you to move from rough, easy sketches to more significant painted pieces seamlessly and on your own time.

So if you're interested in design, fantasy monsters, gaming of any variety, or open-source software, join us in Design with Free Software. See you in class!

What are the requirements?

  • A copy of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (Freely Available at or a copy of Photoshop.
  • A graphics tablet of some sort is highly recommended

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn to generate ideas and crush artists block.
  • Learn to thumbnail and design efficiently so you can avoid deadends.
  • Learn a method of painting that enables you to get rendering fearsome creatures more quickly.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in character or creature design.
  • Anyone tired of art instruction that amounts to just watching someone draw.
  • Anyone who enjoys formal design processes.
  • Any fan of open-source software.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Designing the Free Orc
Image Boards
Making your own image board
Silhouette Exploration
Color Blocking
Separating Layers
Photo Texturing
Face Exploration
Refinement Part One
Refinement Part Two
Final Touches

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Instructor Biography

Justin Operable, Open-Source Entertainment Designer

My name is Justin, and for the last several years, I've created design and illustration for the free-culture and open gaming movement. After studying at the Concept Design Academy and ACAN, I have been doing freelance illustration and graphic design for the past few years, and have contributed to free and open gaming projects, run and contributed artwork to crowdfunding campaigns for open source software such as Flare RPG, Battle for Wesnoth, 0ad and Mediagoblin.

I have released a number of collections of freely licensed artwork and designs, and hope to empower more people to create and hopefully participate in the world around them.

I'm also an amateur game-designer, coder, and history buff.

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